Sustainable energy concerns answered at Saudi smart grid conference

Prince Dr. Bandar Al-Saud inaugurates the seventh Saudi Arabia Smart Grid conference. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 14 December 2017
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Sustainable energy concerns answered at Saudi smart grid conference

JEDDAH: The seventh Saudi Arabia Smart Grid (SASG) conference was convened on Wednesday at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel with a focus on “smart solutions for sustainable energy.”
The conference commenced with words from Deputy Minister for Energy Dr. Saleh Al-Awaji; the governor of the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA), Dr. Abdullah Al-Shehri; Saudi Aramco’s director of energy systems engineering Abdulhamid Al-Omair; in the presence of Prince Dr. Bandar Al-Saud, assistant to the minister of interior for technology affairs.
Al-Shehri told Arab News: “The ECRA released regulations on uses of small solar panels in houses and residential facilities, and gave the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) until next June to prepare equipment and meet specific requirements to ensure that the quality of solar panels meets these regulations.
“Currently, the SEC and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy are working on a program for contractors to pass as qualified installers of roof solar panels,” he added.
Abdullah Al-Bishi, distribution services executive director at the SEC, said: “Once a contractor has installed solar panels at houses, malls and mosques, the SEC’s role is to test the product and ensure it’s of sound quality and merges with the electricity grid. The consumer can then use solar energy along with electricity, and any excess electrical energy can be sold back to the SEC. This will be implemented by July 2018.”
The chairman of the organizing committee of SASG, Bandar Allaf, met with Arab News and expressed great enthusiasm regarding this year’s conference.
“We’ve seen interest from more than 33 countries; there are almost 70 global exhibitors in this hall right now. Yesterday, we received more than 1,500 people who showed interest in the preconference workshops. Besides that, we have a very important session, ‘Women in Power,’ where we’ll listen to international and local experiences, best practices, successful stories for the Saudi engineers engaged in the energy sector. We’ll listen to the difficulties they’ve faced and their recommendations for a better work environment for women in this field.”
To commemorate the focus on the session, Dr. Saleh Al-Awaji spoke about female empowerment in the field: “The female contributors are plentiful and there will be even more opportunities for women in smart grid and renewable energy sectors; we’re fully focused on creating these opportunities at the moment.”
In Saudi Aramco’s booth, participants witnessed the work of a robotic cleaning device to rid solar panels of dust, which had been the main concern for those who are embarking on installing roof solar panels.
 


King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

Millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi national day on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 46 min 18 sec ago
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King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

  • More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Day, celebrated every year on Sept. 23, has come a long way in broadening the concept of unification over the years.
Though the National Day meant unifying disparate sheikhdoms under the nation’s founder, the late King Abdul Aziz, its implications across the political, socioeconomic and cultural spectrum have not been lost on successive rulers.
It was King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who fine-tuned the definition of unification as an operating philosophy. This is why millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi National Day on the streets on Sunday.
The capital city, along with other Saudi cities, will witness fireworks and the unfurling of the largest national flag. More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom.
Car owners, limousine drivers and young Saudi motorcyclists said that they planned to go for drives, particularly on the fashionable streets of the capital city, to celebrate. Grocery shops, stationery shops and vendors were selling bunting, flags, banners and pictures of national heroes.
“We went around the city to see the lighting and fireworks,” said Saleh Al-Omri, a local pharmacist. “Green and white balloons fill either sides of Riyadh streets,” he said.
In his National Day congratulatory message, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, said: “The wise policy of the leaders of this country contributed to peace, security and stability.”
Fakhr Al-Shawaf, chief executive of Al-Bawani Contracting Co., said: “We are celebrating the 88th anniversary of our unification, a day when the late King Abdul Aziz established the Saudi nation.”
Ali Al-Othaim, a member of Riyadh Chamber’s board of directors, said: “The Kingdom is on the path of comprehensive economic and social development under Vision 2030.”
Shafik Namdar, a taxi driver, said that he had bought an SR10 flag for his car and planned to work and also drive with his friends to look at the city and its landmark buildings.
Several young boys, including Arslan, 12, and Mishal, 14, said that they had bought bunting, badges and flags to decorate their houses. They planned to celebrate with a special meal at home with relatives, before going into the city streets for dance and music. Some of them had plans to organize celebrations in public parks.